Thursday July 2, 22.0mi/35.4km
Abbott Lake trail jct (170.8/4840ft) to Meadow by South Russian Creek (192.8/5320ft) (CA)
I woke up later, it was perfect sleeping weather. I had a gradual downhill all morning, but of course it started with a river ford.
The trail was really well built and maintained, some places were impressive sidehill cuts.
And in the forest, it was smooth walkin’.
I forded the North Fork Salmon River like 4 more times. At many of the crossings, someone had kindly left walking sticks to assist with balance while crossing. I don’t use hiking poles, but I recognize their utility at river crossings.
As I went downstream, the river got deeper, with many great swimming holes.
Towards the end of the trail, they started providing bridges. Old and rusty, but my feet were dry!
I passed an old homestead just before the trailhead, all that’s left is the stone fence walls.
I left the Marble Mountain wilderness, and crossed the final bridge into the parking lot.
I had a long lunch at the trailhead, and enjoyed the picnic tables, trash cans, and bathrooms. I walked for awhile down a dirt road, and passed a campground.
With a payphone! These are more rare than bears or moose out here.
From there, I had a gradual 5 mile uphill roadwalk. It went by quickly, and both cars that passed me offered me a ride. I got to the trailhead after 4pm and took a break before entering the woods. The trail turned out to be surprisingly good!
I stopped to camp early at 6pm, since there is a 2000ft climb to a ridge and nowhere to camp until the top. Even though it was a 22mile day, it felt easy, probably because of the good trails and only 3700 feet elevation gain. The next two days look harder, since both involve a climb up a 7000+ foot tall peak.